5 Things about my father that I hope to find in myself now that I am walking in his shoes.
5. My dad was on a small riding tractor clearing away brush when I was a kid. Due to my negligence, but I was only 5, I undid the trash wagon that was attached to it. I didn't tell anyone. So yes, this is totally my fault. (I wonder where my daughter gets her destructive side from?). The tractor flipped on my dad. His back got pretty badly scratched. I remember my mom cleaning him up. And then I remember my dad shrugging it off and going back to work. I hope to god I'm that tough one day.
4. Once, my brother and I didn't want to give my mom a hug goodnight. We were upset at things that children get upset about. We were pretty mean to mom. Dad came up and gave us a whipping, because they still did that in the 70's. Turns out it was a great motivator. Always love mom, no matter what.
3. As a kid, we had a very large yard in the country. A large yard. When my dad thought my brother and I were old enough, he let us start mowing the yard with the riding lawnmower. My dad knew two things: 1. Mowing the yard sucks and 2. The riding lawn mower was about to die. However, as a kid, who doesn't love to ride a riding lawn mower? It was a big deal. It was freaking cool. But of course the lawn mower did eventually die so the only thing left was the push mower. And by that time, my brother and I proved that we could indeed mow a yard. Every time we mowed, it took us 3 days to finish. For the next 15 years of my life, my father never mowed the lawn again. I hope that as a father myself I can fool my own children as well as he did us.
2. Nothing tastes better than an ice cold glass of chocolate milk brought to you by your children while you are watching Solid Gold.
1. My brother and I were playing cowboys and indians with our pellet guns. My brother was a better shot that I was and was actively teeing off on my midsection. As revenge, I pumped the pellet gun up 10X past the mutually agreed upon 1 pump. But of course I am a terrible shot. But let it not be said that I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. Because I can. But in this case the broad side was our house and in that house was a very large sliding glass door. Yup, it was shattered. I thought I was dead meat. I knew that life was over. I couldn't run away, he would find me. All day I waited for my dad to get home. I didn't stop crying and I never left the couch. This would be the worst whipping of my life and I deserved it. He came in and gave me a hug. Said it was no big deal and told me not to worry about it. He obviously saw how bad I was beating myself up about it. More than anything, I hope that I learn what is important and what is not. And sometimes it doesn't matter that a glass door was shattered.
Happy Father's Day old man.